Fuji-Hakone access guide. How to combine Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone in one trip.

fujiChubu Area
View of Mt Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi
View of Mt Fuji from Lake Kawaguchi

Mt. Fuji is the icon of Japan. Many tourists visit and see this magnificent mountain. Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi are most popular places to see this mountain and you may think to visit both. I have written two posts in regards to Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi.

In this post, I will focus on the route of these two places. You can find how to combine these two places.

Overview

First of all, please see the map below:

Click to enlarge. *The map shows you major stations and spots only.
Click to view large. *The map shows you major stations and spots only.

The map shows the whole part of Fuji and Hakone area. Lake Kawaguchi is located at the north of Mt. Fuji. Hakone is located at the south side. Lake Yamanaka is located at the east side.

As I mentioned at the beginning, I will not explain the access to Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone areas. Please see the posts below to find the detailed information about the access to each locations and the sample itineraries:

In the map above, you can find the access route between Lake Kawaguchi and Hakone which goes at the east side of Mt. Fuji. This is the route which connects Hakone and Fuji.

Fuji Hakone Pass is highly recommended to travel in both Kawaguchiko and Hakone.

This pass is the best deal to cover both places. You can choose either Shinjuku version or Odawara version. Shinjuku version includes unlimited travel of the most local transportation in Kawaguchiko and Hakone area, one way Shinjuku – Kawaguchiko and one way Shinjuku – Odawara. You have to use one way each. You cannot take same way to get the round trip, such as Shinjuku – Odawara and Odawara – Shinjuku. If you get Kawaguchiko from Shinjuku, you have to go back from Odawara.

Odawara version does not include the round trip from Shinjuku. It gives you the unlimited travel of Hakone and Fuji only. Both Odawara version and Shinjuku version covers Kawaguchiko – Gotemba route too. Please see the official site in the link below to find the information of Fuji Hakone Pass:

Fuji Hakone Pass official site

Lake Kawaguchi – Gotemba (Hakone) bus route

I showed you the map of the whole part of Hakone and Lake Kawaguchi above. I show you the map which focus on this route only below:

Click to view large

Fujikyuko bus between Kawaguchiko and Gotemba

There are two kinds buses running between these places. All buses are operated by FujiKyuko bus.

The local bus

  • Travel time – approximately 1 hour 30 to 40 minutes
  • Frequency of the operation – every 30 minutes
  • It is covered by Fuji Hakone Pass.

This bus runs between Lake Kawaguchi, FujiQ Highland, Fujisan station, Oshino-Hakkai, Lake Yamanaka, Gotemba station and Gotemba Premium Outlet. There are 70 to 80 more bus stops between these places. This local bus service stops all bus stops. This bus runs a few different routes between Fujisan station and Fujisan Yamanakako bus stop. And also some bus trips do not go to Gotemba Premium Outlet. As I mentioned before, most buses to Hakone depart from Gotemba Premium Outlet. You may have to the free shuttle bus which runs between Gotemba station and Gotemba Premium Outlet to get the bus to Hakone. It depends on the bus connection at Gotemba station.

The limited express bus

  • Travel time – approximately 1 hour
  • Frequency of the operation – 3 round trips a day
  • It is NOT covered by Fuji Hakone Pass.

This bus connects Gotemba and Kawaguchiko directly. This bus stops at Kawaguchiko, FujiQ Highland, Gotemba station and Gotemba Premium Outlet only. This bus does not stop at Oshino-Hakkai, Lake Yamanaka, even Fujisan station. And the bus stops at either Gotemba station or Gotemba Premium Outlet. There is no limited express bus stopping at both bus stops in Gotemba. Please be careful.

You can find the timetable of the bus between Kawaguchiko station and Gotemba in the FujiKyuko bus official website:

FujiKyuko Bus official site- Route bus timetables

The departure point in Lake Kawaguchi area

Fuji Kyuko Railway's Kawaguchiko station
Fuji Kyuko Railway’s Kawaguchiko station

You can get the local bus at all major places in this area, such as Kawaguchiko station (Lake Kawaguchi), FujiQ Highland station and Fujisan station (Mt. Fuji station).

*By the way, Fujisan station is not located on Mt. Fuji. The elevation is not much different from Kawaguchiko. You have to take the other bus to get 5th station of Mt. Fuji.

But the limited express bus does not stop at Fujisan station.

The departure point in Gotemba area

Gotemba Premium Outlet (C) myself [CC BY-SA 3.0]

The bus to Lake Kawaguchi area departs from Gotemba Premium Outlet and Gotemba station. Gotemba is only place in Hakone area to get Lake Kawaguchi area directly. You cannot get Lake Kawaguchi area from other places in Hakone, such as Hakone-Yumoto, Gora, Togendai, Hakonemachi. You have to get Gotemba first.

Hakone Tozan bus runs in all part of Hakone which includes Gotemba. But most buses depart and arrive at Gotemba Premium Outlet. The number of the bus to Gotemba station is limited.

On the other hand, some local buses and the limited express buses to/from Kawaguchiko depart and arrive at Gotemba station only.

You may be able to take Odakyu Hakone express bus. This bus takes you to Togendai. It is located at the shore or Lake Ashi. You can change the buses at Sengoku if you go to Gora or Hakone-Yumoto.

JR Gotemba station

Otherwise you can take the free shuttle bus between Gotemba station and Gotemba Premium Outlet. The outlet free shuttle bus runs every 15 minutes during the operation hours of Gotemba Premium Outlet.

You may find the timetables of Hakone Tozan Bus and Odakyu Hakone express bus in the link below:

Hakone Navi – Transportation guide and the timetable

Other places along the bus route between Lake Kawaguchi and Gotemba

As you saw the map, Lake Yamanaka (Yamanakako) and Oshino-Hakkai are located on the route. You may drop by or stay overnight at the shore of Lake Yamanaka. Lake Yamanaka is much quieter than Lake Kawaguchi. You can enjoy and relax at the mountain lake resort.

You can access to Lake Yamanaka directly by FujiKyuko express bus from Shinjuku. You also can access to Lake Yamanaka by the express bus between Kawaguchiko and Mishima which is called “Mishima/Kawaguchiko Liner”. Please see the link below to find these express bus timetable:

FujiKyuko Bus official site – Express bus timetable

Sample itineraries

I have a day trip plan and 2-day trip plan which cover Fuji and Hakone. Please find the posts below to get the detailed trip plan:

Assessment

Lake Kawaguchi area and Hakone area are located at the base of Mt. Fuji. But these two places have the different atmosphere. As long as you have enough time, I recommend you to visit both. Fuji Hakone Pass helps you lots to travel in these places.

I hope this post will help you to build your plan.

Comments

  1. Lalith Wijesinghe says:

    Hi. I am planing to visit Japan with my wife 31st May to 5th May. Landing at Narita 31st night & planin like below.

    1, 31st Night At Tokyo city.
    2, 1st leave to Fuji & night stay at Fuji.
    3, leave Fuji 2nd to Osaka & stay night at Osaka.
    4, leave osak early morning to Narita airport.

    Can any one help me to get cheaper way to travel & hotels near JR stations.

    Regards,

    Lalith

  2. PJ says:

    Ho Takeshi,

    I plan to buy Fuji-Hakone pass for 2 days trip, and I also am interested to go to Fuji Shibazakura Festival. I see Lake motosuko shown in the map of Fuji-hakone pass which is not too far from the Shibazakura festival area.
    Is it possible to go to Shibazakura festival from Lake Motosuko witout buying Shibazakura liner from kawaguchiko Station that cost $20?

    Or any recommendation?

    • Hi RJ,

      Actually I have never walked from Lake Motosu to Shibazakura venue. But some say it’s 3 km walk and not recommended. But as I said, I have never done it before and I cannot say which is okay or not.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  3. KH says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I have 7 days in Ginza (Tokyo) with my husband/12 yr old son. My questions are –
    -Can we go to Mt. Fuji and Hakone in one day trip, and still be back at night in Ginza ?
    -You were recommended to get the Romance Car, so which one should I get (Fujisawa or Hakone)?

    Thanks,

    KH

  4. Arni says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    We are planning to have a side trip to Mt Fuji from Nagoya going to Tokyo. Which area can we save more time? Nagoya to Hakone or Nagoya to Tokyo to Lake Kawaguchi? We have the JR pass. Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Ami,

      If you want to have clear view of Fuji and shortest and easiest route, I recommend you to do the following route:
      Nagoya (Shinkanen) Mishima (bus) Lake Kawaguchi (direct bus or train via Otsuki) Shinjuku in Tokyo

      Hakone is nice place but you need to access to Owakudani or Lake Ashi to see Fuji. You will spend many minutes to access to these places than Lake Kawaguchi.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

  5. Elena Tan says:

    Hello, I intend to buy Fuji Hacone Pass for my coming visit to Mt Fuji 5th Stations & Hacone area within 2 days. Can I use the same Pass for 2 days round trip from Shinjuku Station Toyko? Which are the most convenient Lines I should use from Shinjuku Station?

    • Hi Elena,

      No. This pass includes one way each:
      Shinjuku-Kawaguchiko (free ride area) Hakone-Shinjuku
      or
      Shinjuku-Hakone (free ride area) Kawaguchiko-Shinjuku

      You cannot have two round trips and you also cannot take same segment twice.

      If you use this pass, you have to take Odakyu railway to Hakone or express bus to Lake Kawaguchi.

      If you intend to have two day trips, you should take express bus to Lake Kawaguchi by regular fare and use Hakone free pass for trip to Hakone.

      Cheers,

      Takeshi / JPRail.com

      • ami says:

        hi,

        sorry for commenting here, just wanna make a confirmation based on your reply above,
        “Shinjuku-Kawaguchiko (free ride area) Hakone-Shinjuku
        or
        Shinjuku-Hakone (free ride area) Kawaguchiko-Shinjuku”

        does that means that i can use this pass if i want to go to the both place for a day trip? which means, im starting my day off to kawaguchiko from shinjuku, take a bus from kawaguchiko to hakone area and at the end of the day going back to shinjuku from hakone.

        Thank you

  6. Marlon says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    We plan to take express bus from Tokyo to Mt. Fuji. Going back, however, I want us to go via Shinkansen. Can you please give a guide how we take that route?

    Thank you!

  7. Rio says:

    Hi Takeshi,
    For mt. Fuji sightseeing and getting to an onsen, which one is better kawaguchiko or hakone?
    Also, if I use JR pass, which route is the most cost-efficient?
    Thanks.

  8. Wynn says:

    Hi Takeshi,

    I am planning to have a 8 days trip from tokyo-kyoto (2days)-fuji (2days)-Tokyo-seibu Chichibu-tokyo

    I need to know for these area except i need the jr pass,
    which transportation pass will be the best option for my whole trip?

    Cheers,
    Wynn

  9. Hafsa Ahmad Kamil says:

    thank you for your map on Tokyo Wide Pass..I have been reading about the line and train covered, but the more i read the more confusing it became..

    just want to confirm, those line/train which was not highlighted in your Tokyo Wide Pass map indicate that it is not covered by the pass, right ?

    also, is the pass cover the trip to Narita airport ?

    thanks

  10. Ms Stan says:

    Hello,
    Will be going to Lake Kawaguchi once I arrived into Narita. Can anyone suggest what will be a better / economical way to get to Lake Kawaguchi from Narita airport? Appreciate your assistance. Thanks.

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